Police Crack Car Break-Ins at Crystal Lake Recreation Area; Arrest Two

Haverhill Police Station

Haverhill detectives have cracked a case involving automobile break-ins at a popular recreation area, arresting two out-of-town men Thursday on multiple larceny and vandalism charges.

Sean Ashford, 26, of Plaistow, N.H., and James Gagnon, 33, of Methuen, were arrested at about 3:23 p.m., Thursday, near Crystal Lake, Lake Street. Each was charged with eight counts of breaking and entering and larceny from a motor vehicle and eight counts of destruction of property.

Haverhill Police Captain Robert P. Pistone said detectives suspected a “serial” breaking and entering problem after hikers and others who use the recreation area reported several automobile breaks and thefts.

“It was a real problem—a quality of life issue for people who enjoy that area. People using the area for hiking and recreation would return and find their vehicles broken into,” Pistone said. Police have been carefully and quietly monitoring the area since at least May 29, he said.

Moving in, Detective Richard Welch placed a hidden surveillance camera at the park Wednesday. The video captured a 1:45 p.m. car break, revealing the suspects drove to the area in a red Ford Focus with New Hampshire license plates. The men, accompanied by a 12-year-old boy, instructed the boy to pick up a rock and break the glass of a Honda CRV. Welch returned to the area Thursday, witnessing the return of the red Ford. He stopped the suspects and confirmed their identities matched the video recording.

Because of the juvenile’s involvement, the men were also charged with reckless endangerment of a child, Pistone said. The pair are due to be arraigned in Haverhill District Court.

In other police news, a Lawrence woman arrested in Haverhill Thursday evening on a single count of trafficking the drug fentanyl is due to appear in court.

Glendalyz Domenech, 32, of Lawrence, was taken into custody at 6:37 p.m., Thursday, at 48 Portland St.

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